Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Swan Park

Okay, it’s not called the swan park, but it should be.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the park we visit where all my swan photos come from. It’s called Confederation Park, and it’s located on the banks of the Gananoque River in Gananoque, Ontario, which is about 20 minutes away from my home by car.


We visit this area often because it’s a beautiful and peaceful setting, because it’s close to home and because there are always two swans hanging around there.


Many people visit this park throughout the tourist season, and the swans are used to humans. But despite that, visitors should always practice caution, particularly during nesting season. Swans can be quite aggressive, and are able to cause serious harm. They can break bones with their wings or beak.


I keep all that in mind as I photograph these lovely birds. And just how do I mange to get so close to them? Very carefully. And with their permission.


When I arrive, I sit at a fair distance and wait for them to notice me. As soon as they do, I inch closer gradually, moving slowly so as not to startle them. With each move, I watch their reaction. If they accept my presence, I move a little closer. If not, I wait until they do.


I get as close as they let me, and before I begin photographing, I sit quietly, allowing them a little time to study me. My cue that they are comfortable with my nearby my presence is when they relax and go about their business.


Like eating.


And bathing.


And the ultimate indication that I’m not considered a threat? They sleep. Right beside me.


Is there a creature more graceful and lovelier than a swan? They have inspired music, art, dance and literature. And they are one of the loveliest sights of the summer for this happy photographer.


32 comments:

  1. it's been many years since I've seen swans up close

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    1. I'd never seen any until I moved here. Quite a sight!

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  2. Amazing they let you get that close! Geese can also be aggressive in the nesting season.

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    1. I am thrilled that they allow me to get that close. I'm always very careful, and read their body language as best as I could.

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  3. You're the Swan Whisperer alright! What magnificent birds.

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    1. They are spectacular! I love watching the way they 'float' along in the water. So beautiful and graceful.

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  4. Beautiful swan photos. Good tips on nature photography also.

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  5. Gorgeous photos, Martha. You're so lucky living in such a beautiful place.

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  6. Deb got here before me and said it first! You are a swan whisperer!

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    1. Or maybe they are a human whisperer? They certainly lure me in every time. Hahaha...

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  7. Your swans are lovely, Martha! I am amazed at how close you get to them! I've often come upon sleeping mallards, but one has never fallen asleep beside me! You have such patience!

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    1. If you really want to take particular photos of animals, you must have patience! They need to feel comfortable around you.

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  8. That is so freaking cool, Martha... just good stuff. I love Swans. I also respect any animal. I like to look birds in the eye. I have gotten fairly close to Swans as well as Pelicans ... and well, Seagulls. whatever animal will let me get close. oh, an Emu and I shared stares... hahaa

    sleeping next to you.... just love it. nice respite from all this nasty shutdown business...

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    1. I think that respect is very important. I take photos of birds, squirrels and chipmunks in my backyard, and if I sit quietly long enough for them to realize that I mean no harm, they let down their guard, and I get a chance at some nice photos. It's the same when I'm out and about with these swans, horses and other farm animals, etc. They are instinctively afraid, and I make an effort to pass a message, as much as possible, that I mean no harm. Sometimes it works.

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  9. oh Martha these are magnificent, what lovely photos you took, and did you do a little self-timer or did you have company I love the photos of you as well, you fit right all that beauty....

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    1. No self timer. My husband is my constant companion on these fun trips. He uses my point and shoot to take pictures.

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  10. You caught their elegance and beauty so well in these photos! I love your method of getting them comfortable with you before starting to take photos. That's such a respectful way to be a part of nature! :-)

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    1. I think being respectful with Mother Nature is a must! This world belongs to them as much as it belongs to us.

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  11. I would imagine their behavior much like our geese -- one false move and you better have on your running shoes. :)

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    1. Yes! They can be quite aggressive when they feel threatened!

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  12. Yes I've always found the painting Leda and the swan to be quite erotic. Naughty old Zeus, eh? They are so beautiful & I love the photos of you creeping up so close to them!! I'm sure they were posing - just for you'!! :)

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    1. Of course they were posing just for me! And how could they not? I've been told that I am the swan whisperer...hahaha...

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  13. Oh my!
    Martha, these pictures are truly lovely.
    I love swans.
    And I love the pics of you with the swans.

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    1. Special moments in life to remember! I love going to visit these beautiful birds.

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  14. Indeed Swans are one of the loveliest sights of the summer!! All the photographs are a peaceful treat for the eyes.

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    1. I never get tired of visiting this park because of these beautiful birds. They are good for the soul!

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  15. Tim and I go to a place where they have birds and I have to be very careful walking toward the water because the grass is covered in poo. So one time I was walking real slow like and Tim was in the car and the big monkey blew the horn. Made me jump.

    That's my bird story.

    Haven't had a chance to get out and about and take fall photos because I'm sick again. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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    1. All these birds leave a huge mess where they poo, and it's like walking through a minefield as you try to avoid stepping on the stuff!

      That totally sucks about you being sick this time of year! I hope you feel better very soon and get a chance to get out there.

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